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The Weight of Water

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Kathryn Bigelow obviously put a lot of care into her direction of this film.

    I'm absolutely shocked that the critical reaction to this movie has been so negative. I was overwhelmed by ‘The Weight of Water.’ I guess part of the problem is that the ad campaign seems to have presented it as a thriller, which it's not. It's also not a mystery or a love story. It's a slow-paced, decidedly downbeat look at two women who are trapped in loveless relationships. Basically, it consists of two parts, a modern-day part and a historical part, set in the 19th century. The 19th century part shows promise and actually gives a pretty interesting view of how a mysterious double murder took place, but ultimately it's underdeveloped and I’ll have to admit is a bit slow. However, compared to the modern-day part, the 19th century part is sort of Oscar material. But as you watch this film you will notice that the modern-day part seems to rely on two major things: Liz Hurley's breasts and some endlessly drawn out shots and quasi-philosophical conversations which really don’t have much of a storyline. Kathryn Bigelow's direction is masterful. She uses images and sounds to express the powerful passions which the two main characters feel but can't express themselves. She gets excellent performances out of the entire cast, but Sarah Polley is especially fine. I'm sure the fact that none of the characters are sympathetic (at least not in the usual sense) is one of the reasons people aren't responding to the film. Bigelow isn't telling a simple story here, and she doesn't want to manipulate the audience by trotting out the usual clichés. This is a complicated movie about how complicated love really is. I haven't read Anita Shreves's novel, but I'd like to. I imagine Bigelow was attracted to it because it offered a blunt, unsentimental look at relationships. ‘The Weight of Water’ is not a conventional Hollywood entertainment. If you're open to it, if you throw away your preconceptions, you may be surprised at where this film takes you.

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